Updated: Dec 14, 2022
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury. Cyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable to being seriously hurt. Brain injuries can leave car accident victims with devastating long-term complications and permanent disability.
A car accident that happens in a split second can change your life forever. If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury because of a car accident or cycling accident, here is what to do.
1. Seek medical attention right away
Any suspected brain injury must be treated as an emergency. Sometimes an injury to the head is noticeable, for example, if the accident causes an open head wound or knocks you unconscious. That is not always the case. In fact, in many situations, a brain injury is not immediately obvious. Even a seemingly minor car accident can cause severe brain injury that is not visible to the naked eye. A traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) can cause internal bleeding, bruising, tears, swelling, and other damage to your brain or the surrounding tissues. Signs and symptoms of a TBI may be immediately apparent—vomiting, seizure, or loss of consciousness, for example—or they may take hours or days to develop.
It is crucial to seek medical attention after any accident where you hit your head or suspect a brain injury. Medical staff at the hospital will assess the extent of the brain injury, start treatment to prevent any further damage to your brain from swelling and bleeding, and monitor you for any changes or worsening symptoms. Imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI may be needed to determine the location and extent of the damage to your brain. Surgery may be required in some cases.
Prompt medical attention is critical to detecting brain injury, preventing further damage, and putting you on the right path to recovery. Also important: the records created when you seek medical attention will provide vital support in your personal injury claim if your injuries were caused by another’s negligence.
2. Reach out to a brain injury lawyer
Oshawa accident lawyers at Kelly Greenway Bruce have over 50 years of experience representing accident victims. Retaining one of our brain injury lawyers as soon as possible after the accident gives you the benefit of our expertise. At the outset, we will provide you with a free case evaluation, advising you on the strengths of your personal injury lawsuit and the range of financial compensation you can expect to receive for your injuries. The types of damage you may be entitled to include pain and suffering, lost income (past and future), out-of-pocket medical expenses, housekeeping costs, and the costs of future medical care. As your case progresses, our brain injury lawyers are skilled at gathering evidence, including clinical records, medical assessments, and expert reports. We can also gather evidence to build your claim if liability for the accident is disputed (e.g., if the other driver says the accident was partly your fault). We will assist you at every step in the process, including securing payment of lost income and funding for treatment to promote your rehabilitation while your claim is still being processed by the insurance company or litigated in the courts.
3. Focus on recovery and rehabilitation
TBIs can be mild, moderate, or severe. Whether you suffered a mild concussion or a more serious TBI after a car accident, recovery can be challenging. Brain injuries can cause widespread issues such as cognitive problems, physical impairments, psychological or personality changes, and difficulties with language and communication. Once you have hired one of our Oshawa brain injury lawyers, you can concentrate on getting better. Rest is extremely important after a TBI, as is avoiding strenuous mental and physical activity. You may need time away from work, school, sports and social functions.
Beyond that, your doctor and other treating professionals will recommend a treatment plan to help you get better. Depending on the severity of your brain injury and the nature of any other injuries you sustained in the accident (e.g., soft tissue injuries, broken bones), you may need physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychological treatment, medication, injections, and/or surgery. For the most seriously injured, in-patient care may be necessary; rehabilitation may include relearning functions like walking, speaking, or writing. Our legal professionals will deal with the claims process while you focus on rehabilitation and recovery.
4. Document your symptoms and impairments
After the accident, you should continue to see your doctor and receive recommended medical treatments. Doing so will maximize your overall recovery. The other benefit is that the records from each doctor’s visit or treatment session will detail your symptoms and limitations, providing critical evidence to support your personal injury case. Throughout the process, you should also keep notes or a journal to record your symptoms, their severity, and how they are impacting your daily life. Keeping a “pain journal” will help you remember details that you may otherwise forget in the time between the accident itself and the final resolution of your claim.
Connect with us today if you or a loved one sustained a brain injury
Oshawa accident lawyers from Kelly Greenway Bruce ensure that legal rights are preserved and that you or your loved one receives fair compensation for pain and suffering, wage loss, medical bills, and more. It’s important to connect with our accident lawyers in Oshawa immediately after receiving the necessary medical attention so we can guide you through the complicated insurance claims process. Contact our dedicated team either in Oshawa or Lindsay for a free initial consultation today.